Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Civil justice reforms must be ‘right, not rushed’

07 Feb 2019
APIL news

Injured people could be held to ransom in a system that does not work if the Government rushes to implement new reforms before they are ready, a leading lawyer warned today.


Brett Dixon, president of APIL, was speaking at a Westminster Legal Policy Forum event today in a session about the impact of civil litigation reform. He told attendees that: “The critical thing is to ensure that the new system for whiplash injuries in the Civil Liability Act works – however long that takes.”


“Injured people must not be held to ransom by the Government’s 2020 deadline for the introduction of these tariffs if the system does not work,” said Brett. “The process available must help them, and to do that it must work fairly and efficiently. At the moment, it does neither.”


Mr Dixon also expressed concerns about how compensation will be paid to people with life-changing injuries. Lump sums, subject to the discount rate, must be calculated on the basis of need, he said. Problems with the system of payment by instalments (known as periodical payment orders or PPOs) also need to be addressed.


“The Civil Justice Council has been asked to look into this which is good news,” he said. “But again, the timing will be critical. If the Government is determined to make changes let’s get them done properly and make sure we have a new way of using PPOs at the same time as changes to the discount rate are introduced. Let’s at least get this right.”


Notes to editors:

  • Brett Dixon’s full speech is available here.
  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's communications manager Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, e:, or press and communications officer Lizzy Freeman t: 0115 943 5431, e:
  • Visit the association's website at
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter:

Past press releases

Court fee hike risks pricing people out of justice, lawyers warn, 05 Sep 2019
Cut crashes in London by sharing safe driving tips, 21 Aug 2019
MPs and peers take up the call for bereavement damages reform, 16 Jul 2019
Further unfairness for injured people under extended fixed costs, 06 Jun 2019
Brighton solicitor defends justice in leading role, 22 May 2019
Injured people must not be forced to pay up front for medical reports, 20 May 2019
Manchester solicitor elected into top legal role, 17 May 2019
North West London solicitor elected into top legal role, 17 May 2019

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431